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Some of the evictees have faced multiple evictions. A local resident, Yomi Emmanuel, 32, taxi driver narrated how his home was demolished in Gosa in April 2012, forcing him to move into his brother’s house in Iddo, also along Airport Road. Some weeks later, his brother’s house20 was again demolished, rendering him and his family of three homeless. He now “lives” in his car, and sleeps wherever he finds parking space at night. Some other evictees, especially the children and youth populations were disproportionately affected by the evictions. Miss Onyeka Ani, 24, hairstylist was among those living in the open despite her pregnant state. “This is the third time our home will be demolished”, she told SPACES FOR CHANGE. Her hairdressing salon was also demolished. Having lost her home and source of livelihood, she was seen playing games under a tree with her partner, totally unsure of what to do next. In her words, “I have nowhere else to go, and cannot afford rental accommodation in the city center”. 5-year old Veronica, spotted in her partly-torn school uniform lamented her inability to continue her education. Together with her grandmother and sister, they live in the open, and seek shelter in the nearby primary school when it rains. Mohammed Dangana, 48, also lives in the open with his wife and 4 children. “We just want a roof over our head, and nothing more”, he told SPACES FOR CHANGE. The inadequate notice also prevented the residents from organizing alternative storage for their belongings, resulting in the loss and destruction of unquantifiable amounts of personal property. Meanwhile, as was witnessed in Iddo village, looters and hoodlums also seized the opportunity of the chaos and confusion to steal the evictees’ private property. In addition, the educational deprivation propelled by the evictions is profound. Many students dropped out of school due to loss of income of parents or guardians resulting from the evictions. Some who were able to afford the cost of education will nonetheless, still miss academic term(s) in the course of changing to new schools. The eviction stripped many evictees, especially young artisans and entrepreneurs of their sources of livelihood, and also forced them to relocate into far-flung areas that made commuting to their old jobs and businesses near impossible. From the office workers to the farmers, evictees had depended on their proximity to the city center for a living. The increased distance from these important central areas increased their transportation costs, and many were forced to either give up their previous jobs or to live apart from their families in order to keep their jobs. Deeply pained by the demolitions, his unlawful arrest and detention on demolition day, the community youth secretary21 observed that the community’s losses are incalculable just as the accompanying human rights violations are egregious. He faulted the wave of demolitions across the FCT premised on “ridding the FCT” of crime because most of the demolished villages have the lowest crime rates. Most objectionable is that the demolished areas, and their farmlands are transferred to private developers who build residential estates that are beyond the reach of the poor. The recent demolition exercise shorn of resettlement and compensation plans, adds to the list of land takings on indigenous lands belonging to the indigenes of Gosa community. It is evident that site clearing and road grading works have considerably affected subsistence farming, impelled the removal of vegetation and habitat, and tampered with livelihood sources. Not only that, serene local lifestyles has lost its wholesomeness, while the increased developmental activities have precipitated changes to local customs and norms causing social tensions and impacting on traditional institutions. Even as housing developments sprout up with astonishing speed in and around their locality, their obvious inability to afford

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SPACES FOR CHANGE visited the demolished communities in Iddo on May 5, 2012 Interview with Josiah Micah. Abuja. May 5, 2012

DEMOLISHING FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE

SPACES FOR CHANGE

Profile for SPACES FOR CHANGE

DEMOLISHING FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE  

This report critically examines the effectiveness and human rights implications of using house demolitions to deter terrorism in Northern N...

DEMOLISHING FOUNDATIONS OF PEACE  

This report critically examines the effectiveness and human rights implications of using house demolitions to deter terrorism in Northern N...

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